Conduct Evaluation of UNICEF’s work for Accelerating Action towards Ending Child Marriage in Bangladesh
Deadline: 30-Jul-2019 11:00 (GMT 6.00)
Request for proposal
Background and rationale:
With a prevalence rate of 52.3% of women between the age of 20-24 married before their 18th birthday, and 18% marrying before 15 years married (MICS 2013), Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. While the practice of child marriage has slowly decreased in Bangladesh over the last 30 years, it remains unacceptably high nationally, with more married children in rural areas and urban slums, and particularly among poor and less educated girls.
Ending child marriage is a priority for both the Government and its development partners, who recognize the need to preserve childhoods, secure children’s rights to education and life, reduce their exposure to violence and exploitation and contribute to ending intergenerational poverty. In 2014, UNICEF and its partners’ support to programmes aiming at harnessing adolescents’ energy and skills to improve their lives while supporting the country’s development objectives resulted in the Prime Minister’s commitment to accelerate the eradication of child marriage in Bangladesh by 2035. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, is the GoB’s selected line ministry for coordinating all government response on ending child marriage.
BCO initially received funding in 2015, based on a multi-sectoral proposal, which included building on existing initiatives across different sectors of work and in some cases retrofitting to include child marriage in existing work. In 2016 with a new CPD there was an opportunity to sharpen the approach on ECM and strengthen the links between adolescent programming and gender. In addition, BCO’s 2017-2020 Country Programme adopted a life-cycle approach to programming, with a standalone outcome on adolescents and under this outcome ECM was placed as a high-level result in the CPD Output 3.7: “By 2020, adolescent boys and girls from selected communities are engaged to develop capacities as agents of change and facilitate action to eliminate harmful social norms and practices with a focus on ECM”. The indicator for this output is as follows: “Targeted parents/primary caregivers reached by programmes addressing child-rearing practices; Number and proportion of adolescents reached through Life Skills Education (LSE) packages on gender, sexual harassment and early marriage nationally that will enable them to influence development agendas”. The CO also developed a Strategy Note on ECM and has in place a BCO ECM proposal from March 2016 which was used as a basis for the GPECM when Bangladesh became one of three GPECM countries in ROSA for Phase I of the UNFPA UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage from 2016-2019. It is important to note that a multi-stakeholder meeting happened in December 2014 developed an extensive analysis of the situation of child marriage in Bangladesh and developed a theory of change for the work around ECM in the country, which was in turn the basis of the BCO strategy note for ECM. This TOC, along with the TOC of the GPECM, is presented as an annex to these TOR. Therefore, the key response to ECM has been through the GPECM which offered a framework promoting the right of girls to delay marriage, addressing the conditions that keep the practice in place, and caring for girls already in union.
There is no national Theory of Change but GoB has utilized elements from three sets of documents that were developed by Plan/ICRW/UNFPA, the Girls Not Brides Alliance and Maxwell Stamp (study commissioned by UNICEF) and the main findings from these documents along with the ToC framework have provided the basis for consultations and formulation of the National Action Plan to End Child Marriage (2016-2020). Moreover, UNICEF is planning to hold a multi-stakeholder meeting late June 2019 to validate the existing problem tree and ToC for ECM. It is important to note that the strategies identified by BCO correspond well with the strategies of the National Action Plan.
At the onset of the GPECM, BCO pulled together all interventions aimed at ECM and that were aligned with the global strategies under the GPECM TOC and brought them under the umbrella of the joint programme with UNFPA. These interventions were then funded through the GPECM funds that UNICEF received for Phase I. There is a cross sectoral task force on ECM coordinated by the Gender Specialist with focal points from all sections, who are also part of the more general group that works on adolescents.
This initial phase had an indicative four-year budget (2016-2019) estimated at $246.7 million with contributions from Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Commission. Close to 10.5 million dollars have been received to date. The first phase of implementation is aimed at targeting adolescent girls (ages 10-19) at risk of child marriage or already in union, particularly adolescent girls.
The prevalence of child marriage varies across districts in Bangladesh. At subnational levels, the north and western parts of the country show higher child marriage prevalence than other parts of the country (MICS 2013). An overall objective of the programme is to accelerate action to address child marriage by enhancing investments in and policies and frameworks promoting positive change and improving the data and evidence base.
In Bangladesh, an ‘Area-Based Programming Approach’ was adopted for efforts to end child marriage in the country, using high prevalence rates of child marriage from MICS 2013 as the key variable for determining the area selection. The following areas were included in the GPECM according to the global programme proposal.
The overall objective of the evaluation is to assess the progress made by BCO towards and achievement of results of its ECM programmes. The evaluation will assess the relevance of BCO’s work on ECM, effectiveness and added value of the joint UNFPA UNICEF GPECM and will also assess BCO’s ECM interventions outside the GPECM. It will identify opportunities and barriers to the implementation of cross sectoral evidence-based intervention strategies. The evaluation will assess the efficiency of UNICEF’s ECM work, its relevance, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. It will also identify good practices of convergence among sectors and lessons especially from the Phase I of the GPECM
Assess results against the strategies outlined in the Strategy Note on ECM and the results framework and workplan of the GPECM.
Assess cross sectoral convergence and collaboration and if the comparative advantage of each sector was leveraged.
Assess to what extend scale and sustainability have been built into the interventions.
Assess the extent to which equity and gender equality have been addressed in programme implementation.
Assess whether the programme was gender transformative in its design and whether it has led to gender transformative results
Assess how UNICEF BCO used it standing with the GoB to push the ECM agenda and how it leveraged the LCG WAGE platform for national level advocacy.
Assess how BCO built and promoted partnerships with all stakeholders especially the women’s organizations and civil society.
Assess the extent to which policies and laws at the national level have been translated and used at the district and upazilla level.
Calculate the cost-effectiveness of the programme
Develop a methodology that uses existing information to estimate the number of child marriages that are averted and prevented
Scope of the evaluation
Temporal coverage: The evaluation will cover the ECM related work covered under the current Country Programme (2016-2020), from its onset until the time of the conduct of the evaluation (Q3 2019).
Geographical scope: The evaluation will cover the upstream work undertaken at the national level and the downstream work that happens in the ECM districts, either through GPECM interventions or other ECM activities.
Content: The evaluation will cover all activities planned and/or implemented during the period under evaluation. The evaluation will focus primarily on the progress towards achieving outputs and contribution to outcomes in the Theory of Change and results frameworks presented. Moreover, the evaluation will focus on both streams of ECM work currently ongoing in the country, namely the work happening under the GPECM and that happening outside of the GPECM. When evaluating the GPECM in Bangladesh, we expect the evaluators to go beyond the findings of the Global Evaluation of the GPECM and to provide a deeper and more contextualized understanding of the situation in Bangladesh. The unit of analysis will be the programme as a whole, as opposed to the discrete interventions, as most of these have strong evidence generation activities. However, an area of interest of the evaluation is understanding spillover effects from programme districts to non-programme districts.
Stakeholders: Different groups of respondents will need to be taken into consideration for the evaluation both at the upstream and downstream level. In addition to UNICEF staff both in Dhaka and the field, the socio-ecological model that is at the heart of the ECM programme should also guide the types of respondents that need to be reached out to throughout the evaluation. Government officials directly involved with the ECM programme from the Prime Minister’s Office, MowCA and other Ministries will need to be included. Other UN agencies and in particular UNFPA, as well as donors and implementing partners will need to be reached out to. Community members, both those who are part of organized committees that support children and their rights, as well as “unorganized” community members need to be included. Families with children (adolescents and younger), both male and female should be included, Adolescent boys and girls, including married girls, both those who attend adolescent clubs or similar and those that do not attend such groups should be included in data collection efforts. An important note is that although the programme focuses on ending child marriage involving girls, men and boys are also key stakeholders in marriage related decisions, and thus they need to be also involved as key respondents in the evaluation. Understanding how to better involve boys and men into programming is at the core of the learnings expected.
Bangladesh: Dhaka and programme areas
6 months (September 2019-February 2020)
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